Release Date: January 3rd, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Series: Insiders #2
Source: I own a copy.
Blurb from Goodreads: Me? A leader? Okay, I did prove that there’s more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion–between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we’re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again–while still touching base with Riley, of course. He’s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there’s outside and then there is Outside.
And something from Outside wants In.
Review: I read Outside In sometime in 2011. I know it was before I started my blog, and it was one of the first reviews I wrote on Goodreads. Because of that, I don’t recommend you go read it (my writing is horrible), but I can tell you that I adored the book. I may not have been able to articulate my thoughts as well as I can now, but the feelings are still the same. I LOVED IT. It was one of my favorites and it just cemented my growing love for Maria V. Snyder’s writing. So it was with great trepidation that I picked up Outside In. I was just worried it wouldn’t be as good.
And unfortunately, it wasn’t. Perhaps the magic had worn off. Maybe I have just gotten pickier. Whatever the case may be, I was a little disappointed. It IS possible that my expectations were a little too high. At any rate, I did still really like it though. It just wasn’t that 5 star book that I was expecting it to be. And I don’t think that I am being unfair by having that expectation considering I loved the first book so much.
One of my main issues with Outside In was the plot. If this had been a standalone, this would probably have been a 5 star book. But because the first book was so damn suspenseful, I had the same hopes for this one. The story was fantastic–Trella has to organize and save the world from a new group trying to take over “Inside”–but it didn’t make quite the same impact on me that Inside Out did. Trella was pretty unlikable throughout the first hundred pages or so and I found myself being disgusted by some of her behavior. So when she finally got her shit together, I was already a little disillusioned with the book. It was a page turner though. And I loved seeing some of my favorite characters back to their old shenanigans. But it just didn’t feel the same.
Trella was an awesome, strong heroine once things got going and Riley, once again, is swoonworthy. All of the side characters are fun and really entertaining. I also really appreciated the new dynamic between Trella and Doctor Lamont. It was interesting and brought something completely new to the book’s dynamic. Maria V. Snyder writes really strong characters, and that continued into this book. I feel like they all had their own personalities, motivations, and lives within the universe of “Inside.”
Speaking of “Inside,” my favorite thing about both of these books is the world-building. It blew my mind in book one and I still found it to be almost as satisfying in book two. I say almost because book one just kept revealing layer after layer and in book two I felt like I knew everything and there weren’t as many secrets to be revealed. Perhaps that is why I was a little underwhelmed by Outside In even though it still is/was one of the more original series I have ever read.
You have to remember that these books hit the YA scene before the dystopia/post-apocalyptic fad hit. This is not an author who wrote this book to make a quick buck. These are truly original ideas. I remember seeing an interview on a blog somewhere where the author stated that when she started writing these books, she didn’t even intend for them to be dystopian but that it just worked out that way. I think when you read these books, it is easy to tell that this is true. The detail in the setting and the depth that goes into the world-building is just so immense and well-planned.
So even though I didn’t love this book as much as I loved Inside Out mainly because I was a little underwhelmed by the suspense and Trella’s actions, I still really enjoyed it and I highly recommend the duology, especially for those readers that love dystopian books but are getting a little tired of the repeated tropes and themes. While there are a few things in these books that you will find in the others, because this one came first, it doesn’t feel overused or overdone in the least. I do highly recommend them and Maria V. Snyder is always an author I will turn to for a good book. I know and trust her writing. And that’s a fantastic thing.
To purchase a copy of Outside In from Amazon.com, click here: Outside In (Harlequin Teen). The Kindle edition is only 7.19 at the time of this writing.